Trinity Western University “asks its faculty and students to observe traditional Christian teachings on marriage through a community covenant.” What happened when it wanted to open a law school with a unique specialty in charity law?
Everyone agreed that Trinity’s program met all the requirements and would train competent lawyers. But law societies across the country held public meetings during which Trinity’s students and faculty were called bigots and worse.
The Law Society of Upper Canada, the nation’s oldest and largest, told the high court in Ottawa during oral arguments on Nov. 30, 2017, that accrediting any “distinctly religious” organization would violate the Canadian Charter, which is similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights. It added that when the government licenses a private organization it adopts all its policies as its own. If these arguments had been accepted, they would have spelled the end of Canada’s nonprofit sector. In their zeal to root out the supposed bigotry of traditional religious believers, these lawyers were prepared to dynamite Canada’s entire civil society.
Thankfully the court passed over some of our opponents’ more extreme arguments. Instead, on June 15 it ruled that making Trinity’s faith-based community standards mandatory could harm the dignity of members of the LGBT community who attend Trinity. The majority of the court concluded that this potential dignitary harm to future LGBT law students was “concrete,” while the infringement on Trinity’s religious liberty from refusing to accredit its qualified law program was “minimal.”
Bob Kuhn, Canada Attacks Religious Freedom (emphasis added).
They used to sarcastically say about anti-anticommunism “Don’t worry: they’re still 90 miles away.”
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